This year has been more than unpredictable, but if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s influencers and internet celebrities getting involved in drama. From Danielle Bernstein’s questionable design practices, to Arielle Charnas’ COVID exposure timeline, there’s been a lot of bullsh*t happening online in 2020, and it’s been one of the few consistent sources of joy. This year, we’ve also seen TikTok stars gain millions of followers and a wild amount of attention, and along with that success comes good old messiness. There’s petty nonsense going down in different corners of TikTok every single day, but here are some of the wildest stories from 2020.
Jake Paul vs. The FBI
Jake Paul and his brother Logan have a long history of messy behavior, from Logan offending the entire nation of Japan, to Jake’s stunt wedding to Tana Mongeau. But in 2020, Jake Paul’s chaotic behavior transitioned into criminal activity that was serious enough to catch the FBI’s attention. In August, a SWAT team raided Paul’s Calabasas mansion, where they reportedly seized “a cache of firearms.” The FBI later confirmed the raid was in connection to a June incident, in which Paul broke into a mall in Arizona to film a video at the height of Black Lives Matter protests.
I create the first content house
Then there’s 500 content houses
I start boxing
Now every influencer is a boxer
Y’all gon get raided by the FBI on purpose?
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) November 15, 2020
Jake Paul wasn’t home during the FBI raid, and it’s unclear what eventually happened in the investigation, but clearly he’s not behind bars or anything. Recently, he’s been focused on his boxing career, which I regret to admit is a real thing. Over Thanksgiving weekend, he won his second professional fight against former NBA player Nate Robinson. After his big win, he naturally hosted a packed mask-free party at his house, which Calabasas Mayor Alicia Weintraub called “a slap in the face to the Calabasas community.” I guess Bryce Hall isn’t the only dumb-ass influencer causing headaches for LA government officials. Speaking of which…
Bryce Hall vs. The City Of LA
If we’ve learned anything about TikTok stars this year, it’s that they love ignoring public safety regulations and partying in the midst of a deadly pandemic. Internet celebs like James Charles, Tana Mongeau, and Nikita Dragun have all attended their fair share of questionable gatherings this year, but no one is a more prolific pandemic partier than Bryce Hall. Over the summer, there were many reports of large parties all over Los Angeles, even as coronavirus cases skyrocketed in California. Clearly, something needed to be done, and in response, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that utilities could be shut off at residences where large gatherings continued to be held.
Today I authorized the City to disconnect utility service at a house in the Hollywood Hills to stop the large parties held there in flagrant violation of our public health orders. Parties like these can quickly and easily spread the virus and put our communities at risk.
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) August 19, 2020
I don’t know if Bryce Hall missed that message, or if he just didn’t care (probably the latter, let’s be real), but he continued to have big parties at his rented Hollywood Hills home. Two weeks later, Mayor Garcetti made good on his threat, and released a statement announcing that “The City has now disconnected utilities at this home to stop these parties that endanger our community.” He claimed that the home had “turned into a nightclub in the Hills,” which is still my worst nightmare, pandemic or not. We never found out exactly how long Bryce had to go without utilities, but I’m hoping it was at least a few days.
Ariana Grande vs. Bryce Hall
The award for most delusional TikTok personality of the year also goes to Bryce Hall, who somehow thinks Ariana Grande gives a sh*t about him. Back in October, Ariana did an hour-long interview on The Zach Sang Show to promote her new album, and at one point the conversation turned to the pandemic behavior of TikTok stars. She name-checked Saddle Ranch, a western-themed restaurant in LA that’s become a hotspot (for TikTokers, but also probably for COVID). She asked, “Did we all need to go to f*cking Saddle Ranch that badly that we couldn’t wait for the deathly pandemic to pass? Did we all need to put on our cowgirl boots and ride a mechanical bull that bad? We all needed that Instagram post that badly?” I love this energy.
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Obviously, being the clown that he is, Bryce Hall—who spent Halloween at Saddle Ranch with his girlfriend Addison Rae—decided Ariana was talking about him, and spoke out about her comments. He said on the Hollywood Raw podcast that it was “obviously like, a marketing move,” explaining that “because she knew that TikTokers have a high audience, she knew that a lot of people would agree, because there’s a lot of people that hate TikTokers already.” Despite seeming annoyed at Ariana indirectly calling him out, Bryce admitted that “like, she’s not wrong.” Fair point that people hate TikTokers, but LOL that Bryce thinks someone as famous as Ariana Grande needs to start drama with him to get some press for her new album. And also, stay the f*ck home!
Charli & Dixie D’Amelio vs. Paella
The most recent controversy on our list came just a couple weeks ago, from TikTok’s first family, The D’Amelios. 16-year-old Charli D’Amelio has had a meteoric rise this year, becoming the most-followed person on TikTok, and recently becoming the first account to pass the 100 million follower threshold on the app. At some point in this whirlwind year, the D’Amelios decided that they should start a family YouTube channel, which like, yikes. If I told my mom we were starting a YouTube channel together, she’d kick me out of the house. Anyway, one of their great ideas for a video series was “Dinner With The D’Amelios,” where they would be joined each episode by a different celeb guest at a family dinner.
The first episode featured our problematic fave James Charles, and there were actually some interesting moments where they talked about getting famous so young, and how James has become a mentor to Charli. But things went south when chef Aaron May presented them with a homemade paella for dinner. Charli and her sister Dixie were shocked to discover that the dish contained snails, and Charli asked the award-winning chef if she could have dino nuggets instead. Dixie took a small bite of snail, gagged, and ran outside to vomit. The D’Amelios received a great deal of backlash for their tone-deaf reactions to the traditional dish, and Charli also got dragged for her comments in the video about being annoyed at how long it was taking her to reach 100 million TikTok followers.
tomorrow i will be back posting normal content with a smile on my face! at the end of the day i know i am a good person with a good heart and i will never change that about myself. i love you all!! 💕
— charli d’amelio (@charlidamelio) November 20, 2020
On the day the video came out, Charli lost over a million followers, while James Charles and other major influencers came to her defense. Since then she’s rebounded, and she finally hit her coveted 100 million—hopefully she got to celebrate with some dino nuggets.
Like it or not, it looks like all of these TikTok stars are here to stay, and as long as they’re looking for clout, there’s going to be drama involved. Can’t wait to see whose house gets raided by the FBI in 2021!
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Images: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images; jakepaul, mayorofla, charlidamelio / Twitter; brycehall / Instagram